In this era of political correctness, we understand that it might be something of a social faux pas to say that something or someone has been blessed in the riches department.
But honestly, one would be hard-pressed to call this fall’s lineup of musical acts, book signings, stage productions, museum and gallery exhibitions and dance performances anything but a blessing. Perhaps not the kind bestowed by some all-seeing, all-knowing deity, but instead by extraordinary mortals who simply know what they are doing when it comes to putting on a good show. (For more on deities, see page 9.)
This is especially true in the local music scene in which it is not at all unusual these days to see bands give their all at a handful of local clubs and industry legends drop in for a visit on any given night.
The Rose dinner club, Pasadena’s latest among a growing number of places offering live music, starts out the season with such popular acts as the Gin Blossoms, the Young Dubliners, Missing Persons, the Untouchables and Bow Wow Wow. Then October will witness a visit by the incomparable Smokey Robinson, and November features performances by country icon and Songwriters Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson and bluesman John Mayall. Sixties folk icon Joan Baez will be dropping into the Disney Music Hall in November over in Pasadena-adjacent, and the Alex Theatre in Glendale will be hosting Doors guitarist Robby Krieger’s “Break on Through” fundraiser for Music Path (benefiting public high school music education) on Sept. 16.
At the theater, stories of love, life and mystery will take shape on such venerable stages as A Noise Within, the Alex Theatre, Ambassador Auditorium, Boston Court, Caltech, the David Henry Hwang Theatre, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, the Pasadena Playhouse, and the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
For those who insist that seeing is believing, exhibition offerings this fall at area museums and galleries are truly a welcome sight.
The life and work of Octavia E. Butler, the late Pasadena science-fiction author, will be celebrated at a number of venues, among them the Armory Center for the Arts, which on Oct. 1 presents the exhibition “Radio Imagination,” a joint effort by the Armory, the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens and other Los Angeles-area museums and galleries.
Other area institutions featuring awe-inspiring installations include the Norton Simon Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Pasadena Museum of History, Glendale’s Museum of Neon Art, Kidspace Children’s Museum and the Southern California Children’s Museum.
In the world of literary arts, Vroman’s Bookstore is the center of the hardbound and paperback universe when it comes to signings and readings by some of the nation’s top authors beginning on Sept. 15 with Carl Hiaasen, author of “Razor Girl.”
National Book Award-winner Jacqueline Woodson, author of “Another Brooklyn,” about growing up and fleeting friendships, will be reading and signing her book later this month, as will history writer Ross King, who will sign copies of his new book “Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lillies” on Sept. 22.
Some of the other authors set to appear in September include Amy Stewart, author of “Lady Cop Makes Trouble,” the second installment of Stewart’s runaway hit, “Girl With a Gun,” Melissa De La Cruz and Terrry McDonnell, a former magazine editor and author of “Accidental Life: A Writer’s Notes on Writers and Writing,” will also be visiting town later this month.
In October, Hollywood comes to Pasadena when actor Cary Elwes signs his New York Times bestseller “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride.”
Also in October, Alex Prud’homme, the grand-nephew of Julia Child’s husband and co-author of her autobiography “My Life in France,” discusses and signs his new book, “The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act.”
In the world of dance, the season begins with the Laemmle Culture Vulture series at Laemmle Playhouse 7 screening the San Francisco Ballet performance of “Romeo & Juliet” on Sept. 12-13.
At Caltech, Jeffry Vinokur in “The Dancing Scientist: So You Think You Can Do Science” premieres at Beckman Auditorium on Nov. 10.
In a one-day dance concert at the Alex Theatre, the Los Angeles Ballet performs a program of George Balanchine’s choreography to Stravinsky’s “Violin Concerto.”
Irish classics are on tap in “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA on Nov. 6, featuring dancer Scott Doherty with Celtic rocker Chris Smith.
Lineage Dance in Pasadena is having its annual fundraising gala “Blueprints for Our Future” on Oct. 1 at the Kohlhase Manor in Pasadena.
Other places to enjoy first-rate dancing include the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Music Center and REDCAT, all located in downtown LA.
Whether you prefer calling it a blessing, a gift or simply another positive benefit of living here, Greater Pasadena this fall offers something to satisfy every artistic taste.